Freelance Writing and the Big Screen TV Factor


Credit where it’s due: Yesterday I was making my blog rounds when I stopped at a post by James Chartrand entitled “Want More Clients? Explain Yourself.” James explained how some potential clients will choose the lowest bid, but might be inclined to change their minds if you convince why you’re worth the extra pay. As I commented, it reminded me of what I call “the big screen TV factor.” Thus, a blog post is born.

When my husband and I were shopping around for a new television, we spent a lot of time researching. Instead of rushing out to WalMart and buying the sales item, we read consumer magazines, online recommendations and reviews and browsed the different stores. We didn’t want a mere television, we wanted an appliance that would last. We were willing to pay more money, especially if the television is a quality product lasting a long time without needing repairs or replacement.

Freelance writing is a lot shopping for a big screen TV. Many clients are willing to pay extra for quality work. Like big screen TV shoppers, potential clients want bang for their buck.

Do you bid or pitch?

When applying for a freelance writing jobs, do you bid in hopes of undercutting a rival, or do you quote a higher price and explain why you’re worth the effort?  Most clients will choose the lower bid because it’s more attractive to their wallet. However, if you take the time to tell them how you’re going to do more than provide content they might consider a higher offer. Be more attractive than money.

  • How will you represent their brands?
  • How will you enhance their reputations?
  • How do you stand out from other writers?
  • What will your writing do for them? Is it mere copy, or will it bring in more sales, more readers, more traffic or more awareness?
  • Why do you warrant a higher paycheck?

Don’t quote, sell.

Bang for the Buck

Like anyone who is shopping around for a product or service, a potential client wants bang for his buck. Too many consumers make the mistake of going with the lowest priced item rather than going with the best item. If you’re the best, your rates should be reflective of this, but your client doesn’t know why you command a higher rate.  Convince him of your worth and let him know why you’re worth it.

Do you bid or pitch? What do you do to convince the potential client you’re worth a better rate?


  1. Phil says

    An important factor that someone else pointed out to me once: While some will always go for the low bid (remember John Glenn saying he went up in a space capsule built by lowest-bid contractors, or do I date myself), others (like my wife and daughters) will see the lowest price as “cheap,” the highest price as too expensive and something in the middle as just right. Consider it the Goldilocks approach to bidding.

  2. Tania Mara says

    Having confidence in your own abilities is the first step to take if you want to “be more attractive than money” (I liked that one!). It amazes me that so many writers can’t sell themselves despite being highly skilled. They worry too much about the competition and forget to position themselves as the specialists they are. They lower their prices instead of mentioning their previous work experience, the courses they took, the important clients they’ve worked for etc. Thus they’re always bidding although they could–and should–be pitching their quality writing services.

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